It's National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Do you know where your data is? (And who's reading it?) To advance data security knowledge, 3Delta Systems Inc. published a white paper titled Stopping Data Cyberthieves in Their Tracks. 3Delta Founder and Chief Operating Officer Aaron Bills stated, "You must plan for a layered, deep-defense approach to secure your system, so that if one safeguard fails, other countermeasures can detect and respond to an attack. Toward that end, tokenization can be a formidable tool." The seventh annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month is coordinated by the National Cyber Security Alliance, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, and numerous companies and organizations. Visa Inc. also marked the month by launching a website to help cardholders and small businesses protect payment card data and avoid scams. The site is located at www.visasecuritysense.com.
The board of Hypercom Corp. spurned a September 2010 unsolicited takeover bid from VeriFone Inc., while holding the door open to further negotiations. VeriFone offered $5.25 a share, or $285 million, in cash for all of Hypercom's outstanding shares. The offer represented a 37 percent premium over Hypercom's closing price of $3.84 the day before VeriFone's offer.
Hypercom's rejection does not preclude a merger if the two companies can agree on terms - after Hypercom's earnings results are released Nov. 2. "The company has engaged in numerous detailed, good faith discussions with VeriFone in the belief that a combination at the right price could benefit its stockholders," Hypercom said in an Oct. 7 press release. VeriFone's public disclosure of the offer prompted Hypercom to file a lawsuit - which it subsequently dropped - for violating a confidentiality agreement stemming from 2009 merger talks. Hypercom dropped the suit so it could respond publicly to VeriFone's comments. Hypercom said it asked VeriFone to put off making the bid public until after Hypercom releases its third quarter 2010 results.
The Discover card, from Discover Financial Services, advanced in its efforts to gain traction against Visa on the issuing side. The First National Bank of Omaha will begin issuing credit cards on the Discover Network in 2011. The multiyear agreement opens the door for additional direct, agent bank and co-brand issuing activities. First National already issues both MasterCard Worldwide and Visa credit cards. Kevin O'Donnell, Vice President of Credit Issuance at Discover, said "This relationship with an innovative, top-tier organization is a great opportunity to further develop our issuing business."
A wireless telecom and a bank in Haiti partnered with relief and development agency Mercy Corps to launch a mobile money system for Haitians. The joint effort between wireless operator Voila, a subsidiary of Trilogy International Partners LLC, and Haiti's Unibank S.A. is intended to spur recovery in the nation devastated by an earthquake in early 2010. The program allows recipients of Mercy Corps' cash-for-work, grants and food vouchers to use Voila phones as mobile wallets. If approved by Haiti's Central Bank, Voila and Unibank will add a broad range of financial services for the unbanked population.
CyberSource, a subsidiary of Visa, now allows Internet merchants to screen orders for potential fraud without introducing card data to their systems. Using a tokenization system, payment data goes directly onto the CyberSource payment network without coming into contact with merchant systems. Transactions run through the linked fraud system employing 200-plus merchant-designated tests assessing the risk of fraud.
Processor Eliot Management Group opened a branch office in Tulsa, Okla. With a strong presence in the Western United States, EMG reported it is expanding in the Midwest with this 26th office.
Payment consulting firm Glenbrook Partners LLC published Payments Systems in the U.S., written for payments professionals. Authors Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness drew on material developed for Glenbrook's Payments Boot Camp. The book is available at www.amazon.com or www.paymentsessentials.com.
Some 5,100 small and midsize businesses have deployed the E3 (end-to-end encryption) terminal from Heartland Payment Systems Inc. since its introduction in May 2010, the company reported. And in October, Heartland introduced an E3 magnetic stripe reader wedge for PC-based applications.
ISD Corp. celebrated its 25th anniversary as a provider of payments software. Its first client deployed the ISD payment switch software on an IBM POS system routing credit cards to Michigan National Bank.
ISO Merchant Warehouse launched an online resource center with sales tools and thought leadership for merchant level salespeople (MLSs). At Merchant Warehouse University, outside experts share insights about the industry. The site does not require affiliation with the Merchant Warehouse Agent/ISO program and is located at www.mw-university.com.
Online and mobile payments provider PlaySpan was certified as compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). The UltimatePay platform, which provides hosted payment services for online game sites and social networks, achieved Level 1 certification.
Super G Funding reported it has the capital to provide residual-based loans to "almost any" ISO or MLS. Loan amounts range from $25,000 to $1 million and can be repaid over 12, 24 or 36 months.
"Typically, ISOs try to get an SBA or business loan from their local bank or take out a home equity loan against their home, but this is very hard to do in today's economic climate," said Darrin Ginsberg, Chief Executive Officer of Super G Funding. "ISOs are having problems getting cash they need to grow their businesses, and I am happy to provide this funding to the industry that I grew up in."
Super G can also purchase portfolios, but before doing so, the company would endeavor to "educate the ISO on the long-term benefits of borrowing versus selling."
AMK Ltda. now distributes POS systems from Charge Anywhere LLC in South America. Based in Ecuador, AMK began its distribution and support of Charge Anywhere products in that nation.
Bank of America Merchant Services LLC is offering the TransArmor service from First Data Corp. to its U.S. merchants. TransArmor replaces card data with tokens to prevent raw data from entering merchants' systems. BofA Merchant Services is a joint venture of First Data and Bank of America Corp. CRE Secure Payments LLC's payment acceptance service was integrated with Global Gateway from First Data. Designed for online merchants, CRE Secure redirects online consumers to a PCI-compliant hosted payment page.
Tier 1 processor BluePay Processing LLP teamed with e-commerce platform Magneto Inc. The partnership connects Magneto's online merchants with BluePay's card processing and electronic bill payment services.
CurveNorth Inc., a software supplier to merchant processors, partnered with CoreLogic Credco, a provider of credit reporting services. CoreLogic Credco will deliver merchant prequalification and screening through CurveNorth's merchant management system.
Cynergy Data LLC and TSYS Acquiring Solutions expanded their partnership. TSYS became the preferred provider of authorization, settlement and dispute-resolution services for the New York-based provider of ISO services.
CSN Stores LLC, an online retailer with 200 boutique merchants in its portfolio, integrated a debit option from Mazooma Inc. The service provides instant, bank-authenticated payment authorization. CSN Stores includes Cookware.com and Strollers.com.
Datatel Inc. engaged Trustwave to provide its call center clients with PCI DSS compliance services. Datatel's hosted interactive voice response payment gateway connects call centers to North American card processors.
ISO Fidelity Payment Services chose CheckAlt Payment Solutions to supply remote deposit capture and e-check services. The companies will exchange referrals.
Four Texas-based banks signed on with Fifth Third Processing Solutions LLC for ATM and debit card transaction processing and gateway services. They include Granger National Bank, AimBank, Spur Security Bank and First State Bank of Bedias.
Fifth Third Processing signed up for mobile payment capability from Bling Nation. Processing clients can offer the mobile services to debit card customers.
ID TECH implemented end-to-end encryption from Voltage Security Inc. with ID TECH's POS transaction devices, including smart and contactless card readers, signature capture devices and PIN entry products. The company also joined the Voltage SecureData Open License Program, simplifying the integration of encryption across payment systems.
MainSource Bank chose TransFirst to supply payment processing services for customers in the Midwest. MainSource has 83 branches in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
NetSecure Technologies Ltd., maker of the SmartSwipe personal credit card reader, partnered with anti-virus software developer BitDefender to add additional layers of security for online transactions.
Canadian POS software developer Pacific Amber Technologies Inc. integrated EasyV-Retail software from YESpay, enabling its AmberPOS customers to accept Europay MasterCard and Visa chip and PIN cards. Payments are settled through merchants' chosen card acquirers via YESpay's Emboss Bureau Service.
Pivotal Payments purchased up to 33,000 Optimum countertop and mobile payment terminals from Hypercom. Pivotal will install the terminals at Canadian merchants over the next three years. And Australian financial services company Westpac Banking Corp. is deploying 15,000 countertop terminals from Hypercom to merchant clients. Westpac and Hypercom signed a five-year agreement.
Online debit payments software provider SafetyPay Inc. expanded into Brazil through payment processor Braspag, guaranteeing SafetyPay's presence in e-commerce organizations in that nation. Braspag processes for 80 percent of e-commerce retailers in Brazil.
The Members Group agreed to offer anti-skimming technology from ADT Security Services Inc. to arm TMG clients' ATMs against fraud. The technology may include surface sensor devices that trigger video surveillance or silent alarms, and electronic anti-skim jamming devices.
TransFirst partnered with ControlScan Inc. for PCI compliance services. Merchant clients of TransFirst have access to ControlScan's vulnerability scanning, self-assessment questionnaires and training.
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce endorsed Heartland as its exclusive provider of payment card processing services. The organization is an advocate on behalf of Hispanic businesses.
Drugstore chain Walgreen Co. turned to Accertify Inc. for a system to prevent credit card fraud in online sales. Accertify's Interceptas platform processes in real time and allows merchants to control fraud-prevention tools.
POS and security technology distributor BlueStar Inc. acquired Danish electronics distributor Elma Pos & Data A/S. The target company represents manufacturers of POS, kiosk, automatic identification and data capture technology.
Card issuance leader Datacard Group acquired Dynamic Card Solutions LLC, a provider of instant issuance software for financial card programs. The merger expands Datacard's portfolio of issuance software for banks, credit unions and retailers.
BlueStar made two recent appointments. Cesar Camacho was promoted to Business Development Manager for the Latin America division. Additionally, the company hired Jonathan Abad as Business Development Manager for Motorola products in the same division. Previously, Abad was General Store Manager at AIA Enterprises Inc.
Merrick Bank appointed Charles S. Crawford Senior Vice President of Business Development for its Merrick Merchant Services unit. Most recently, Crawford was Executive Vice President of Strategic Development at Electronic Payment Exchange.Concurrently, Merrick promoted David Herzfeld to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Merchant Services. Lisa Kenney was promoted to Vice President of Merchant Services.
PCI-compliance service provider ControlScan Inc. named John Fasano Chief Financial Officer. Previously, Fasano was CFO at FirstView LLC.
David Magley joined Eliot Management Group as General Manager. He was a regional sales executive at Lynk Systems/RBS Lynk (now RBS WorldPay) and Moneris Solutions Inc.
Posdata hired Peter McCord as Eastern Regional Sales Manager for the Payment Terminals Group. McCord previously worked in sales and support at Hospitality Systems Inc.
Identity Theft 911 appointed Michael Milligan Senior Vice President of Sales. Most recently, Milligan worked for startups EagleEye Analytics Inc. and Acxiom Inc.
Hosted payments software provider 3Delta Systems hired Daniel L. Miner as General Manager of Treasury Services. He will lead business development.
Miner was a principal at management consultancy Treasury Strategies Inc.
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